XENIA — Changes are coming to the Xenia Law Department.
As a result, the current contract of Law Director Ron Lewis, dated March 1, 2002, will not be renewed. The law director is one of three city positions appointed and managed by city council along with the city manager and finance director.
“To best serve the citizens of Xenia, and as part of a need to address growing demands for legal services related to municipal operations, the Xenia City Council has decided to make adjustments in the structure and staffing of the law department,” City Council President Mike Engle said. “We feel these changes will help improve cost efficiency and enhance effectiveness and operations by assigning staff to services based on their functional strengths and expanding our overall capacity to complete more work in-house.”
Lewis received written notice of council’s intent Monday afternoon, but expects to remain with the city.
“It’s an ongoing process,” he said. “We are on very good terms. We are just going to be renegotiating new contract.”
Engle said Lewis is not being terminated. Rather, council is seeking to “re-describe” his contract and expectations. Engle added there was no singular event or action that led to the desired changes within the department. As law director, Lewis has contracts with Greene County and Bellbrook to prosecute misdemeanor cases in Xenia Municipal Court.
Because it’s an appointed position, the seven-member council had to vote to allow the contract to not automatically renew. Dale Louderback cast the lone no vote, citing legal reasons.